In the country of Canada, any driver who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug can be charged with impaired driving. Impaired driving is a very serious criminal offence that can result in harsh penalties. Since the consequences of being convicted of impaired driving are so severe, it is important to have a talented criminal lawyer who can help protect you if you are charged with impaired driving.
The Penalties You Risk When Charged
Anyone who is convicted of impaired driving will possibly be prohibited from driving, face a license suspension depending on their province, given a fine, have probation, or sentenced to jail. The minimum sentence for a first time offender will be a 12 month driving prohibition and a $1000 fine. The minimum sentence for a second offense includes a 24 month long driving prohibition and 30 days in jail. All subsequent offenses will result in a 36 month driving prohibition and 120 days in jail. If someone is harmed due to your impaired driving, you may have up to ten years in jail, and if someone is killed because of the impaired driving, you may face a lifetime imprisonment sentence. Depending on the individual circumstances of your crime, your criminal lawyer may be able to argue for a lightened sentence.
How Can You Fight an Impaired Driving Charge?
Being successfully charged with impaired driving requires police to follow strict regulations, including conducting a physical coordination test where they pulled you over and taking you to the station for a breath device test. Most defenses to impaired driving charges will focus on the behavior of the police officer who arrested you and the accuracy of the blood alcohol test. For example, a case may be thrown out if the police did not have probable grounds for demanding a test in the first place or did not conduct the test at the right time. The results of a test may also be thrown out if the machine was not operated correctly or if you ingested a chemical substance that might interfere with a blood alcohol analysis. In some cases, a toxicologist may be able to show that based on the evidence, you could not reasonably have the blood alcohol level that the test claimed you did. Your lawyer can go over the evidence with you to find a suitable argument in your defense. Regardless of the individual circumstances of your case, a good criminal lawyer will be able to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. A good source of information is the Aswani K. Datt website, which has more insights and resources available online.